Trivia Minute June 16, 2015

108: The Bloom is Off The Trivia

by Marcus Michelson
Cover of the first edition of "Ulysses" by James Joyce.
Cover of the first edition of “Ulysses” by James Joyce.

June 16 is marked as “Bloomsday,” a celebration of the novel “Ulysses” and its author James Joyce.

Here are some facts you may not have known about “Ulysses” and its author.

First: The events of “Ulysses” take place on June 16, 1904, following Leopold Bloom through the events of his day. As you can probably tell from the title, the story is a retelling of Homer’s “Odyssey” with similar characters and events.

Second: “Ulysses” was published on Joyce’s 40th birthday, February 2, 1922 by Sylvia Beach at Shakespeare and Company in Paris, with 1,000 copies printed. The book was banned in the United Kingdom until the 1930s and wasn’t legitimately published in the United States until 1934.

Third: Joyce was born in a suburb of Dublin in 1882. He moved across Europe for most of his life, with longer spells in Zurich, Trieste and Paris. Despite this, most of his creative efforts were set in Dublin. Besides “Ulysses,” his notable works include “Dubliners,” A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” and “Finnegan’s Wake.” He died on January 13, 1941 of complications following surgery for a perforated ulcer. He was 58.

Our question: What movie and, later, musical also feature a character named Leopold Bloom?

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